Visit Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands of Southwest Florida, the Everglades

Winter Fishing In The 10,000 Islands

Everglades City

by Captain Mike Merritt

Well, at the time of writing this month’s article, we are having a warming trend that has fired up the Snook fishing. If this continues then the Snook bite should be good this month. The backcountry is where it’s at right now. Casting shorelines with soft plastics has been producing lots of action with a few decent fish mixed in. There are quite a variety of baits out to use and they all work to a degree. More important than selection is the accuracy of casting. As a guide, this can be the most frustrating part of the day. When you know if a good cast is made it will produce fish. If you are not able to make accurate casts then you can’t expect to have as good a result as if you were an accurate caster. I suggest to anglers to hit as many of the little pockets along a bank as possible. Work your bait out about 10-15 ft. and then recast, The more casts you make the more action you get. Long casts down the edge of a bank will get any fish laying out but the majority of your Snook bites will be right at the edge or under the edge. Practice your casts if you need to. Set up a target and develop your skills. Consistency is key. If you hold the rod a little different every time you cast then you can’t develop consistency.

All this being said there is a bite going on right now so get out and enjoy it while the water temps are rising. There are also still plenty of Redfish in the backcountry, not to mention Black Drum. These guys will take Gulps fished on a jig head very readily. The size of the jig head you use will depend on the depth and what type of bottom you are fishing. A 1/4 oz. is a good weight for most of the time. I prefer a jig with a really strong hook as I have had hooks straightened and have even had hooks break from some manufacturers. I use Roos Baits jig heads as he makes them with a nice hook and they hold up to big fish. The worst thing that can happen is your client hooks a trophy fish and the hook fails. I have had this happen, but not since I started using these jigs.

Captain Mike Merritt on Visit Everglades City

February is also known here as the best month to catch the biggest Seatrout of the year. I still prefer a DOA glow shrimp on a popping cork for these guys. But a jig or bucktail will also work. And of course, it’s hard to beat live shrimp. The flats, bars, rocks, and even backcountry will all produce this time of year. Depending on how warm it gets this month you can see the Tarpon start showing back up, although that typically starts more next month. Let’s all hope for warmer weather and some stability and have a great month fishing here in our Everglades!

Good luck fishing, Capt. Mike Merritt

Mike Merritt, Fishing Guide

2024-03-18T17:45:04-04:00February 17, 2024|Fishing, Wildlife|

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Go to Top